Masklophobia

The fear of mascots or masks

What is masklophobia and what causes it?

A fear of masks or mascots that persists for longer than six months. The theory of the cause of this phobia is our learned image of the appearance of a normal human, and a mask or unual appearance can elicit a sense of danger. Also, when the masked person speaks, the mouth does not move and the sound appears to come out of nowhere.

Common causes, symptoms, and effects

Horror movies featuring a masked figure like Halloween or The Phantom of the Opera, associate masked figures with danger in the person's mind. The phobia is very individualized and what each person fears is different; can include horror masks, religious masks, costumed characters, mascots, or clowns. Common symptoms include sweating, shaking, crying, and heart palpations. This phobia is most common among children but may persist into adulthood.

Treatments

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; will be taught to explore your feelings about masks, and replace negative messages with more positive self-talk
  • Systematic Desensitization; gradually exposed to different types of masks
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